Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has seemingly given the company’s mobile hardware output a chance of surviving. In an interview at the recent GeekWire Summit, the CEO suggested the recent admission about Windows 10 Mobile may not be the end of Microsoft’s mobile ambitions.
That Windows 10 Mobile announcement was Microsoft saying the platform is no longer a focus and no new hardware is coming. With the company already not building new devices, OEMs are expected to leave the platform behind.
Microsoft has been clear that it wants to continue to push mobile, but will focus its own services on other platforms.
At the summit, Satya Nadella was asked, “Have you given up on smartphone hardware?”
We already know Windows 10 Mobile is now an afterthought, but the CEO’s views on hardware are interesting.
He started his answer by admitting Microsoft cannot compete in the consumer market. This has been obvious for a few years:
“We … do not have the share to have smartphone hardware that’s a real consumer choice. We cannot attract developers.”
However, the CEO says the company wants to focus on software, particularly for enterprise users.
“[The] thing that we’re doing is to make sure our software is available so that we can service the enterprise customer who really doesn’t care about a lot of the things a consumer will care about.”
Microsoft’s Mobile Future
Microsoft has enjoyed plenty of success on iOS and Android with its various apps and services. So, it is clear the company does not need its own smartphones or platform to become a force in the mobile market.
However, Nadella does not go as far as to say Microsoft will no longer make mobile hardware. We have consistently heard about the Surface Phone, a device that has been billed to transform mobile hardware, with a focus on enterprise.
Satya Nadella and HoloLens chief Alex Kipman have both suggested the company is still in the hardware game. Indeed, both have directly said the next Microsoft mobile device will not look like a phone and will leverage mixed reality.
Where Windows fits into all this is unclear, but now Windows as a mobile platform is dying.